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UNITED STATES

Sen. Warren Rudman (R) of N.H., best known for cowriting the Gramm-Rudman balanced-budget amendment, said March 24 he will not seek a third term.... The shuttle Atlantis blasted off March 24 to carry an international crew of seven astronauts on a mission to study the Earth's atmosphere.... Prof. Leonard Jeffries, who drew fire when he accused Jews and Italians in Hollywood of perpetuating a negative image of blacks, will be replaced as head of New York City College's black studies department.... A CNN/U SA Today/Gallup poll published March 23 found that Americans would reelect President Bush by a 52-to-43 percent majority over Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton if the election were held now. EUROPE, MIDDLE EAST, AND ASIA

Radioactive gases leaked from a Russian nuclear plant near St. Petersburg March 23, and an official described the accident as serious. Sweden and Finland reported they had not detected extraordinary levels of radiation.... The Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe admitted Croatia, Slovenia, and Georgia to its ranks March 24, raising CSCE membership to 51 nations.... The British government has signed a contract to sell London's historic County Hall, on the south bank of River Thames, to a Japa nese firm to convert it to a hotel... A special Arab League committee met March 24 to discuss details of how Libya will hand over to the league two men accused by the West of blowing up a Pan Am airliner. Libya, Syria, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, and Mauritania are on the committee.... The US State Department suppressed evidence from its consulate in Canton that shoes exported to the US from China were made in a Chinese prison, violating US policy, Reuters reported.

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